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How 10 great products got their names

Etymology of iPod, BlackBerry and Wikipedia

They sound right now, but how did our favourite products get their odd names? From iPod and BlackBerry to Twitter and Wikipedia, PC Advisor explains.

Wikipedia: Just What It Sounds Like

Wikipedia

According to Wikipedia, the name Wikipedia is a portmanteau of wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites) and the US spelling of 'encyclopedia' (you remember, those large books that, as kids, we ruthlessly plagiarised for school book reports).

FYI, a portmanteau is a fancy way of saying that we're going to take two words, jam them together, and (hopefully) create a new concept that people will love. So far, so good.

In an illustration of the axiom, "the more things change, the more they stay the same," kids and adults now ruthlessly plagiarise Wikipedia instead of encyclopaedias.

Mac OS X and 'The Big Cats': Catlike Sleekness and Style

Mac OS X

Apple's popular Mac operating system X actually denotes the Roman numeral for 10, since it is the OS's tenth release, following Mac OS 9. To the ire of Apple fanboys, many people do refer to it as the letter "X".

More interesting have been the "big cat" code names assigned to each succeeding Mac OS X release that have stuck with Apple's marketing: Cheetah (10.0), Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, and the current kitty, Leopard.

Snow Leopard has been assigned for the 10.6 release, with rumours that Lynx and Cougar are in the works.

NEXT PAGE: Red Hat Linux

  1. Apple iPod
  2. BlackBerry and Firefox
  3. Twitter and Windows 7
  4. Wikipedia and Mac OS X
  5. Red Hat Linux


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